Thursday, April 17, 2008

5367: Childproof The Home From BET, MTV.


Campaign targets MTV’s, BET’s music video ‘assault’ on children

By Jim Brown

A new report from the Parents Television Council finds that daytime music video programming on Black Entertainment Television and MTV features sexual, violent, profane or obscene content once every 38 seconds. Deep concerns are being expressed over the influence that is having on young children.

The study conducted by the Parents Television Council (PTC) -- titled “The Rap on Rap” -- examined music videos on BET and MTV during afternoon and early evening hours, when many children are at home after school. PTC president Tim Winter announced the findings at the National Press Club in Washington yesterday.

“Being in the trenches fighting for better indecency enforcement and cable choice on behalf of millions of American families, we thought we’d seen it all,” Winter lamented, “but even we were taken aback by what we found in the music video programs on MTV and BET that are targeted directly at impressionable children.”

PTC found more than 1,300 instances of offensive content in a mere 14 hours of programming in March, primarily in the form of sexually-charged images, explicit language, violence, drug use and sales, and other illegal activity.

The study was commissioned by the Enough is Enough Campaign led by Maryland pastor Delman Coates, who says his group is spotlighting a serious problem in American popular culture. He described elements of that problem: “The celebration and glorification of images that sexually objectify women, that glorify violence and criminal activity, that negatively stereotype black and Latino men as pimps, gangsters, and thugs -- and also that market adult-themed material to children and youth.”

Dr. E. Faye Williams, a leading black feminist and national chair of the National Congress of Black Women, has teamed up with the Enough is Enough Campaign and is denouncing corporate executives who are allowing the sexually explicit and profane rap music videos to be aired repetitively on the two networks. The campaign, she asserts, is not about censorship of artistic expression, but rather responsibility.

“We know how important our children are. And we know that many times if our children see these things on television, they think it’s alright -- unless we object to it,” Williams pointed out.” … So we as adults have a responsibility to show our children something better than they are being fed.”

The images that are “simply ram[med] down their throats everyday” by the networks are not appropriate, said Williams. “They are not the criminals, they are not the thugs, they are not the gangsters [portrayed in the programming],” she stated. “So we as adults must do something better.”

Former BET program director Paul Porter, who now runs the nonpartisan think tank Industry Ears, declared that only poor “ratings and revenue” will change the coarse programming at BET and MTV.

The Enough is Enough Campaign has been holding weekly protest rallies outside the residences of the CEOs of BET and Viacom (which owns BET and MTV), and plans to begin targeting companies whose advertising dollars are paying for the offensive programming on BET and MTV. Some of those companies include Procter & Gamble, McDonald’s, Wal-Mart, Sony, and AT&T.

No comments: